Welcome back Studio Coffee Folks! Universal is trying to figure out a post-COVID future as it nabs Watchmen director Stephen Williams for a horror flick and reschedules a handful of its previously delayed summer slate. Plus, an important message from Sam Jackson and a super cute trailer from Apple! That and more, right here.
Watchmen director tries his hand at horror for Universal
Stephen Williams is sitting the director’s chair for Universal’s upcoming horror original, Don’t Go in the Water. Readers of this site will likely recognize him from his two directing credits on Watchmen (picking up a Director’s Guild Award nom there) as well as executive producing Lost. Although details are few and far between, this next project is being called a suspenseful monster movie, being written by Peter Gaffney. Adam Rodin executive produces Don’t Go in the Water and Universal’s executive VP of Production Matt Reilly and director of development Lexi Barta will oversee.
Universal pushes premieres to 2021 with Wicked, Minions: The Rise of Gru and Sing 2
Illumination and Universal are shuffling some of their upcoming movies, following previously announced delays. Minions: The Rise of Gru will be rescheduled from its June 2020 debut for July 3, 2021 domestically and Sing 2, which is displaced by that shift, will drop into the studio’s Christmas 2021 slot. Aaand that moves Wicked, which remains unscheduled for the time being. Universal, like several other studios, seem to of the mind that the best way out of this mess, is simply push a year back, given how impossible it is to tell when theaters will be open – let alone when it will be safe to do so.
Animated fowl flick Pierre The Pigeon-Hawk brings cast to roost
Pierre the Pigeon-Hawk, upcoming animated movie from New Zealand’s Toonz Media, is adding six to its cast in a recent announcement: Howie Mandel, Luis Guzmán, Paul Blackthorne, Jamal Trulove, Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson. Together, they’ll help tell the story of Pierre, who’s (you guessed it) part pigeon, part hawk and completely rejected by both communities. He goes out to try and find his place and, with the help of some friends, waves the flag for hybrid acceptance. The six newcomers join previously announced cast members Nick Cannon, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Coolidge and Kenan Thompson.
Apple TV+ has a sweet eco-friendly movie on its way
Apple TV+ has dropped an adorable trailer for Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, which based on Oliver Jeffers’ best-selling children’s book of the same name. Meryl Streep narrates the 36 minute film and it’s written by BAFTA Award winner Philip Hunt. It tells the story of a seven year-old boy who, with guidance from his parents, discovers the beauty and responsibility of living on Earth. The movie was originally announced back in January, and hits the streamer on April 17, just a few days before Earth Day.
Sam Jackson: “Stay the f— at home”
From Adam Mansbach, the man who brought us Go the F— to Sleep, comes a new book, Stay the F— at Home. Sam Jackson, widely known for Pulp Fiction, yelling about Snakes on a Plane and the more recent Captain Marvel, narrated that first book a few years back, getting millions of YouTube views. Well, he’s done it again. On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he caught up with the host via video chat and (around the 6 minute mark) pulled out his copy of Stay the F— at Home and gave another rousing, swear-heavy performance. Check it out – and do what he says!